𝘝𝘢𝘯𝘗𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘬𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘱𝘳𝘰𝘵𝘢𝘨𝘰𝘯𝘪𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘥𝘪𝘴𝘤𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺. 𝘈𝘵 30, 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘝𝘪𝘰𝘭𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘦𝘤𝘶𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳, 𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘪𝘥 𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬 𝘢𝘯𝘥 “𝘴𝘵𝘦𝘢𝘮𝘳𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘥” 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘤 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴, 𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘪𝘭 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘵𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘯𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘥𝘶𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘗𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘑𝘰𝘳𝘥𝘢𝘯, 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘦 𝘦𝘪𝘨𝘩𝘵𝘦𝘦𝘯-𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳-𝘰𝘭𝘥 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘸𝘩𝘰𝘮 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘴𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘯𝘵 𝘮𝘶𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯—𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘭𝘦 𝘴𝘢𝘺𝘴 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭. 𝘖𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘧𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢 𝘳𝘦𝘭𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘮𝘢𝘯 12 𝘺𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘫𝘶𝘯𝘪𝘰𝘳, 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧 𝘨𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘥𝘷𝘪𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘧𝘳𝘪𝘦𝘯𝘥𝘴𝘩𝘪𝘱𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘶𝘭𝘵𝘪𝘮𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘭𝘺 𝘩𝘦𝘭𝘱 𝘩𝘪𝘮 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘢𝘨𝘦𝘮𝘦𝘯𝘵 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘭𝘺 𝘣𝘦𝘭𝘪𝘦𝘷𝘦 𝘪𝘯 𝘩𝘪𝘮𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧. 𝘙𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺 𝘧𝘰𝘭𝘭𝘰𝘸𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘰𝘯 𝘢 𝘫𝘰𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘺 𝘵𝘰 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘢 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘸𝘯 𝘤𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘪𝘯 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘦𝘯𝘨𝘢𝘨𝘪𝘯𝘨, 𝘶𝘱𝘣𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘯𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘭.
𝘛𝘩𝘦 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘴𝘵-𝘱𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵𝘸𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘢𝘴 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘣𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘴𝘦𝘭𝘧-𝘥𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘵𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘧𝘢𝘭𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘯 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘗𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘩𝘪𝘴𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘴’𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘱𝘩𝘦𝘸. 𝘚𝘵𝘳𝘶𝘨𝘨𝘭𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘯𝘦𝘸 𝘥𝘺𝘯𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘤 𝘰𝘧 𝘣𝘦𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘦𝘮𝘣𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘣𝘰𝘴𝘴’𝘴 𝘧𝘢𝘮𝘪𝘭𝘺, 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘦𝘳𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘳 𝘗𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘢𝘨𝘦, 𝘢𝘯𝘥𝘰𝘯𝘨𝘰𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘣𝘭𝘦 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘢 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘬𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘤𝘦 𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘢𝘭, 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦 𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘢𝘴𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘰𝘯 𝘱𝘢𝘵𝘩 𝘵𝘰 𝘵𝘢𝘬𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘭𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴—𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘦𝘵𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘪𝘵 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘭𝘪𝘱 𝘵𝘩𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘨𝘩 𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴. 𝘝𝘢𝘯𝘗𝘢𝘵𝘵𝘦𝘯 𝘬𝘦𝘦𝘱𝘴 𝘢𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘱𝘰𝘴𝘴𝘪𝘣𝘪𝘭𝘪𝘵𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘭𝘥 𝘨𝘰 𝘸𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨, 𝘢𝘥𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘦𝘭𝘤𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘈𝘤𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘴 𝘰𝘧 𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦'𝘴 𝘤𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘩𝘰𝘰𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘦𝘷𝘦𝘳𝘺𝘥𝘢𝘺 𝘳𝘰𝘶𝘵𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴—𝘨𝘺𝘮, 𝘚𝘵𝘢𝘳𝘣𝘶𝘤𝘬𝘴, 𝘭𝘰𝘤𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘢𝘳𝘴, 𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘱𝘰𝘱 𝘳𝘢𝘥𝘪𝘰 𝘱𝘭𝘢𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨,𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘯𝘰𝘸 𝘩𝘢𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘥 𝘣𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘦 “𝘨𝘩𝘰𝘴𝘵” 𝘰𝘧 𝘗𝘦𝘵𝘦𝘳’𝘴 𝘬𝘪𝘴𝘴—𝘣𝘰𝘵𝘩 𝘥𝘦𝘧𝘵𝘭𝘺 𝘦𝘴𝘵𝘢𝘣𝘭𝘪𝘴𝘩 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘨𝘪𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘴𝘰𝘯 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘰𝘰𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳𝘈𝘳𝘯𝘪𝘦’𝘴 𝘨𝘳𝘰𝘸𝘵𝘩.
𝘞𝘩𝘪𝘭𝘦 𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘱𝘢𝘨𝘦-𝘵𝘶𝘳𝘯𝘦𝘳, 𝘪𝘵 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘭𝘰𝘸 𝘣𝘶𝘳𝘯 𝘧𝘶𝘭𝘭 𝘰𝘧 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯-𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳 𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘶𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘱𝘭𝘰𝘵 𝘵𝘸𝘪𝘴𝘵𝘴, 𝘢𝘭𝘭 𝘴𝘦𝘵 𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘷𝘪𝘯𝘤𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘺 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘭 𝘸𝘰𝘳𝘭𝘥 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘣𝘶𝘪𝘭𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘵𝘰 𝘢 𝘴𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘴𝘧𝘺𝘪𝘯𝘨 (𝘺𝘦𝘵 𝘴𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘸𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘶𝘯𝘦𝘹𝘱𝘦𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘥) 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘤𝘭𝘶𝘴𝘪𝘰𝘯. 𝘍𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳-𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘵𝘦𝘮𝘱𝘰𝘳𝘢𝘳𝘺 𝘧𝘪𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘰𝘯𝘨 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘨𝘭𝘦𝘴 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥 𝘮𝘶𝘤𝘩 𝘩𝘦𝘳𝘦 𝘵𝘰 𝘦𝘯𝘫𝘰𝘺. 𝘛𝘩𝘪𝘴 𝘪𝘴 𝘢 𝘴𝘵𝘰𝘳𝘺 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘸𝘪𝘭𝘭 𝘵𝘶𝘨𝘢𝘵 𝘩𝘦𝘢𝘳𝘵 𝘴𝘵𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘪𝘯𝘴𝘱𝘪𝘳𝘦 𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘥𝘦𝘳𝘴 𝘵𝘰 𝘫𝘶𝘴𝘵 "𝘭𝘦𝘢𝘯 𝘪𝘯𝘵𝘰" 𝘵𝘩𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘱𝘱𝘪𝘯𝘦𝘴𝘴 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦𝘥 𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘴 𝘵𝘩𝘢𝘵 𝘭𝘪𝘧𝘦 𝘤𝘢𝘯 𝘣𝘳𝘪𝘯𝘨."
𝘛𝘢𝘬𝘦𝘢𝘸𝘢𝘺: 𝘈 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘮𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘩𝘢𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘦𝘳-𝘥𝘳𝘪𝘷𝘦𝘯 𝘳𝘰𝘮𝘢𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘣𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘧𝘪𝘯𝘥𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘤𝘰𝘯𝘧𝘪𝘥𝘦𝘯𝘤𝘦 𝘢𝘯𝘥 𝘭𝘰𝘷𝘦.
𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵 𝘧𝘰𝘳 𝘧𝘢𝘯𝘴 𝘰𝘧: 𝘑𝘶𝘥𝘦 𝘚𝘪𝘦𝘳𝘳𝘢’𝘴 𝘈 𝘛𝘪𝘯𝘺 𝘗𝘪𝘦𝘤𝘦 𝘰𝘧 𝘚𝘰𝘮𝘦𝘵𝘩𝘪𝘯𝘨 𝘎𝘳𝘦𝘢𝘵𝘦𝘳, 𝘔𝘰𝘳𝘨𝘢𝘯 𝘙𝘰𝘨𝘦𝘳𝘴’𝘴 𝘏𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘺 G𝘪𝘳𝘭.
Sometimes You Just Know by Bill VanPatten
In Bill VanPatten’s new romance novel, Sometimes You Just Know, we meet the protagonist, Arnie Violet, who has never truly felt confident in himself. With an alcoholic mother who passed away while he was in college and a father who left him at the age of 10, Arnie has never really felt loved or wanted.
Now, at the age of 30, Arnie finds himself working at advertising and design firm, Bright Ideas, with little to no success in relationships and few friends. But when Arnie meets 18-year-old Peter Jordan, there is an instant attraction between the two of them. Peter is outgoing, self-assured and confident. He is everything that Arnie is not.
But when he finds out that Peter is his boss’s nephew, alarm bells start to ring in his head and the self-doubt kicks in. “What was it that this 18-year-old really saw in him?” he wonders. Could a relationship between the two seemingly different individuals work?
Overcoming the Past and Learning to “Lean Into It”
Having spent most of his youth caring for his mother, Arnie has not had the time or the best luck with relationships. So when Peter begins to take an interest in him, Arnie is hesitant. After all, there is a large age gap between the two and Peter just so happens to be the nephew of Harold, Arnie’s boss.
When Arnie befriends bartender and former family counselor, Adam, Arnie confides in him about his childhood, his insecurities regarding his job, and his current dilemma with Peter. His anxious thoughts plague him: “My boss. If Peter and I started something and it didn’t work out, don’t you think that would be awkward? Peter’s his nephew. I’d feel awkward at work.”
To this, Adam encourages Arnie to lean into life. “You gotta let go of the past, buddy, and point your head toward the future. Just lean into it,” he says. He reminds Arnie that he is not his parents. He can overcome the past.
Though it takes Arnie a while to let go of the past and feel comfortable in his relationship with Peter, Arnie is finally able to take Adam’s advice and lean into life. Peter ultimately brings Arnie out of his shell and helps him to find confidence and joy in his life, even when they have their own struggles as a couple.
VanPatten expertly tells the captivating story of Arnie’s journey to self-confidence, finding the value in himself, and meeting people who see the best in him. Adam convinces Arnie to be confident in himself and in the fact that Peter truly does like him. Harold, Arnie’s boss, urges Arnie to be confident in other areas of his life, such as work. When his self-doubt creeps in, Harold is there to remind him that he is a talented designer. If only Arnie can learn to “just lean into it” and trust in his abilities, he will have his friends there to remind him that he is talented. He is loved. He is wanted.
Lovable and Relatable Characters
VanPatten writes his characters in such a way that you will not be able to stop yourself from falling in love. From Arnie’s initial shy and awkward personality, to Peter’s outgoing personality, to Harold’s fatherly affection, and Adam’s welcoming nature, there is something to love about every character and the dynamics that are built between them. Sometimes You Just Know reminds us that family can be found. It can be chosen. And some of the most meaningful friendships can be formed in some of the most unlikely places.
With many heartwarming, awkward, funny, and even heartbreaking moments, Sometimes You Just Know is a rollercoaster of emotions as we follow Arnie on his journey of love and self-discovery.
A thirty-year-old designer who is unlucky in love learns to let go of the past and embrace life.
Arnie Violet (as in, perhaps, “shrinking violet”) is a thirty-year-old designer for an advertising agency who is terminally single: his longest relationship lasted fifty-three days. When Harold, Arnie’s boss, invites him over for dinner one Friday, he meets Harold’s nephew, Peter, who is eighteen, loves classical music, is described as “handsome” about a dozen times, and flirts with Arnie five seconds after meeting him. Arnie, wary of the age difference–plus battling a few demons from his past–is hesitant, but Peter persists. Will the latter get what he wants? Or will Arnie’s neuroses win out?
In this newest novel by the prolific and award-winning Bill VanPatten, the plot is fizzy and satisfying, and the characters familiar. There is Peter, the Bach-playing, GQ-dressing future med school student. Harold, the too-chummy boss. Harold’s wife, who “runs the household” while her husband is “the breadwinner.” Rachel, the senior designer who has it in for Arnie for no discernible reason. And Arnie himself. Under-confident. Worrywart. Picture an older Charlie Brown who has good taste, speaks Spanish, and happens to be gay (VanPatten neither avoids queerness nor makes it central to the plot, which is what the literary world needs more of). The difference is, everything goes right for Arnie. Good for him that Harold has as many boundaries as The Office’s Michael Scott, which is to say, none at all. In addition to dinner, Harold invites Arnie hiking, assures him Rachel is “not as good as you,” and gives him the agency’s biggest project because he likes him. Good for Arnie also that Peter has the subtlety of David Addison from Moonlighting: “There, under the damask-clothed table, under the better-than-everyday-dinnerware, under the perfectly cooked prime rib and roasted vegetables, Peter’s hand was gently caressing Arnie’s mid-thigh. Then it began finger walking its way toward his pocket.” Dessert hadn’t even been served!
VanPatten is careless with a few details. Arnie admires some porcelain from “Williams and Sonoma,” when the retailer’s name is “Williams Sonoma.”
Bill VanPatten’s SOMETIMES YOU JUST KNOW is a diverting, uplifting, and satisfying tale of romance and personal redemption.
~Anthony Aycock for IndieReader